Moonlight So High

I can’t get to sleep
so I go for a drive
the place is deserted
like no-one’s alive

I feel so invisible
the moonlight so high
wheels makin’ the sound
of a soft lullaby

I’m feeling the chill
of the truth deep inside
letting go of a secret
I can no longer hide

I see that I’m nearing
the edges of town
If I don’t go back soon
I may not turn around

But where would I go
and what would I do
when all that I am
reminds me of you

You see I’ve forgotten
what we had in the past
those dreams that we had
and why they didn’t last

It’s 4 in the morning
and the sky’s getting pink
just driving around
is making me think

I guess life is worth living
and love’s a fine goal
but use your head first
before losing your soul

Jack in the Box

Like all the others in the box
it was sepia and smelled,
a crumpled, lifted edge was seen
where once it had been held.

She lifted up the photograph
the handsome face now torn,
sandwiched in between two friends
all dressed in army uniform.

She turned the face away from her
and looked on canvas’ back,
a faint inscription written there,
“Yours Forever, Jack.”

Things

Things I say

Things I don’t

Things I will

Things I won’t

Things I can do

Things I can’t

Things I shall

Things I shan’t

Things that live

Things that die

Things that laugh

Things that cry

Things that come

Things that go

Things to learn

Things I know

Things that rise

Things that fall

Things that aren’t

Things at all

Things I hate

Things I love

Things like all the

Things above

The World to Me

I like to look in others’ eyes
to see what I can see
perhaps I view reflections
of what they see in me

We romanticise our love of eyes
call them portals to the soul
imagining that we can tell
what makes each person whole

When I look into my own eyes
a young man’s staring back
full of optimism and innocence
the things that I now lack

And when I stare just long enough
the image disappears
I see me as I am today
complete with all my years

Visiting the Zoo

On visiting the zoo one day
my children said to me,
“Why are the animals sad?”
“Why are they kept locked up like this?”
“Is it because they’ve been bad?”

I tried my best to explain
that the birds could not fly away
nor the elephant run around loose
the lion couldn’t hunt down the High Street
but I could see that it was no use.

“Why can’t they just leave them alone
and not stick them in a prison like this?”
“It’s people that are treating them bad!”
Perhaps the wrong ones are behind bars
and it’s people that ought to be sad.

Feeling Queer

I know a little chap who is frightened of gay men
and one must assume that he judges them in haste,
you see he, being rather dim,
thinks that soon they may chase him
but perhaps he should credit them with taste.

Some say that he’s a throwback to the Fifties
when men were men and women glad of that,
for surely then there was no danger
that by simply talking to a stranger
one might end up being invited to his flat.

But in today’s world we can sense his isolation
even though we recognise that he’s sincere,
it can’t be easy when one finds
one must compete with open minds
little wonder then the fellow’s feeling queer!

A View

Look at the valleys and the gardens beyond
the fish in the loch and the small garden pond
look at the time just wasting away
the clatter and chatter that makes up our day
look at the people don’t they realise
if they just stepped outside it could open their eyes
look to the future now it can begin
like starting afresh or a life coloured-in.

Tin Opener

I bought myself fresh air today
packaged in a tin,
I never meant to buy it
Just bought it on a whim.

But it might be very useful
when I’m walking up a hill,
running for a bus one day
or perhaps when I’ve been ill.

And anyway years from now
with pollutants raining death
I’ll open up my little tin
and take my last fresh breath.

Pet’s Corner

Mary had a little lamb –
So affectionate was he,
’til Daddy cut his throat
and had him for his tea.

Oh well, thought little Mary,
a goat I could pet too,
But Daddy chopped him up as well
and put him in his stew.

Then she had a pony –
a proper little winner,
‘cept Daddy turned his insides out
and cooked them for his dinner.

Next she tried a little cat –
she loved to hear it purr,
Daddy put it in his soup as stock –
well, what else would it be for.

At last, she thought, I’ll have a dog –
they say it’s man’s best friend,
and Daddy really loved the beast –
tasty to the end.

Mary gave up having pets that night
and shot her awful Dad,
who, with careful seasoning,
tasted not too bad.

A Fiery Tale

If when stepping out one night
a shooting star you see
try not to be too alarmed
as it might just be me.

I don’t believe in hell below
where we go in deaths release
or that growing up a saintly sort
should let us rest in peace.

When we depart these mortal coils
perhaps we leave our trace
as little more than cosmic dust
travelling through space.

So if you should see this fiery tale
shaking debris loose
wave to me a fond farewell
as I head for Uranus.

Death is the Punchline

Death is the punchline that leaves us bereft
the gag we don’t get ’cause we’ve already left.
The last gasp of humour from our maker it seems
is to poison our lives and ruin our dreams.

For Death walks beside us in the shadows so deep
and stares in the window when we’re fast asleep.
As we live through days that we hope will not end
Death’s our companion but never our friend.

Of course we ignore him for each of us know
that it’s futile to fight this formidable foe.
But the joke’s on the joker for each day that we gain
by living and loving we drive Death insane.

The Halo Moon

A hazy, halo moon waits for us over the next hill

shining in the gloom – is this a beacon or a ghost?

I keep Sam on his lead as I tread our usual route

up the cobbled street beside the dark still water.

There are few reflections across the opposite shore

just the outstretched fingers of thrashing reeds.

We listen intently to the knock-knocking of  the little boats

as they bounce against the harbour wall.

My eyes strain to see McGhee’s cottage with its all-night glow

as Sam and I climb the pathway towards home.

Taking Flight

Today I woke up to the sounds of birds migrating.

Perhaps they were discussing their winter schedule,

Or maybe they were arguing with their Sat-Nav.

Standing, flat-footed, on the cold floor boards

I peeked at them as they moved across the sky

Silouetted against a primary-coloured backdrop.

I let the slats go and sloped back to my warm bed

and thought of the journey they were making

and then it occurred to me, they had no choice –

they took flight to ensure their survival.

We cannot fly.

The Journey

The news, when it came, took the wind from us,

Looking down, we stared at our unsteady legs,

As we sailed through the topic of cancer.

Once we were safely below decks we admitted it,

Here, was no longer just a dot on the horizon,

A place where rocks could still be avoided.

So we bunked down and waited for the storm to brew,

But, strangely, all was calm instead,

As, serenely, we planned for our journey ahead.

There’s Many Things

There’s many things I cannot do,
Some are false – some are true.

I cannot build a rocket car,
nor with these legs walk too far.

I can’t recall important dates,
nor make a list of loves and hates.

I cannot write on sweet birdsong,
nor stand in queues for very long.

I cannot run around and leap,
nor be sad and therefore weep.

In a Quiet Moment

In a quiet moment I stand, legs apart and knees slightly bent,

self-consciously trying to imagine that I am at peace.

My arms droop before me and my hands form a clasp,

rotating my wrists I raise both arms towards the sky

lifting an imaginary ball into the void above.

My mind, though ostensibly “at one”, counts the few seconds

until I repeat the pattern with ever-depleting energy.

My first and last dreams

I begin to wonder about my first and last dreams

will they be similar to others I’ve had –

the creeping darkness

the rush of air as I helplessly plummet

a sudden hard landing

that leads to an unexpected warm embrace

and the final acceptance of peace.

How do I compare a dream I can’t recall

with one yet to come

and destined never to be remembered.

Silent Partner

Sometimes I let my paper flop
to see if she’s stopped talking yet,
I catch the odd word here and there:
Gas Bill, Shopping, Vet.

I reckon I’ve got used to her
and likely her to me,
Sometimes she seems invisible
I wonder if she sees me.

Don’t suppose it matters much
if we listen or we don’t,
we always make a promise to
but we know ourselves we won’t.

There’s no need for some big pretense
we stay together for we know
really when all’s said and done
we’ve nowhere else to go.

The Harp, The Heart & The Angel

In her eyes he saw the shape of the harp –

playing soft and sweet and low

with a sadness that melted his heart

He thought of the valleys of his youth –

the grass weeping under an emerald sky

and of the love that still lay within

Ice water rose from the depths of him –

coursing down the deep ravines of his face

from eyes not open until this moment